The Wakodahatchee Wetlands is a unique “constructed wetlands” in Delray Beach, Florida, and one of the places I go birding and blog about most often. “Each day, the Southern Region Water Reclamation Facility pumps approximately two million gallons of highly treated wastewater into the Wakodahatchee Wetlands, which in turn acts as a percolation pond, returning billions of gallons of fresh water back into the water table.” For more about how Wako actually works, check out further info this site: Palm Beach County Water Utilities
It’s now late December at Wakodahatchee. The Yellow-crowned Night Heron, the White Ibis, and the Anhinga are lounging in their cozy hiding spots in the trees. Cormorant chicks are begging their parents for food, and the Great Blue Herons are laying claim to their new nesting spots.But there are other critters afoot at Wako, frankly not the sort I usually photograph or blog about. So – just a note here about a couple of them:Raccoons are found throughout Florida, and we often spot them wandering around Wako. Though nocturnal, Florida raccoons are often out and about in the daylight hours, depending upon availability of food. This is not generally worrisome, as it is up in the northern U.S., where daytime sightings raise concerns over rabies. But . . . one can never be too cautious. For more info and a handy guide, see Florida Fish & Wildlife.For a variety of reasons, the Green Iguana population has exploded in recent years in our area, and Wakodahatchee is home to many. These reptiles, first reported in Florida in the 1960’s (Invasive Green Iguana), are an invasive species, not native to Florida.
They always draw quite a crowd when spotted lounging in the trees in our local wetlands, but can they wreak havoc for homeowners. The Green Iguana generally feeds on vegetation, but adults will also prey on bird eggs, which makes them rather unpopular among birders!!There are never-ending wonders of nature to enjoy at Wakodahatchee, no matter what the season. I feel very blessed to live so close by~!